Our online petition form to submit your public comments to the BLM/USFS using our online petition form is now disabled/offline. However, you can still email your public comments to the BLM/USFS at firstname.lastname@example.org by end of business today at 5 pm MST.
Here is more information from the BLM on its management planning process for Trump’s Proclamation of the Shash Jaa’ and Indian Creek Units of Bears Ears National Monument.
Utah Diné Bikéyah encourages public comments on BLM and USFS’s Monument Management Plans
Utah Diné Bikéyah, a 501 (c)3 Native American organization, respectfully encourages the American public to continue to recognize and support the original 1.3 million acre Bears Ears National Monument, which we hope will be restored through our litigation efforts. Meanwhile, the federal government is moving forward with management planning for the smaller units created by President Trump.
Please submit comments to the Bureau of Land Management and National Forest Service, before April 11th, for the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa regions. Public comments will shape the future of these two smaller units and it is important to preserve the original intention of protecting this area and keep Native American uses and access at the forefront. If we fail to restore the original Bears Ears National Monument boundaries through litigation, the BLM’s Monument Management Planning process will create an Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision that will guide management of these two smaller units for the many years to come.
This call for action does not mean that Utah Diné Bikéyah supports Trump’s designated boundaries of the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa’ National Monuments, an 85% reduction from the original designation. But this resource management plan will establish the management priorities, zoning, travel planning, and recreation policies for these new national monuments, as well as monitoring and restoration efforts. If the original monument is not restored, Utah Diné Bikéyah wants to ensure that the remaining designated land of Trump’s two monuments is properly managed and protected.
Please use the comment form above to remind the federal government that:
- If you are Native American, please share your personal cultural connection to BENM;
- Insist the BLM & USFS halt planning of these units until the litigation of the Trump proclamation of Bears Ears is settled by the courts;
- Request that BLM & USFS delay and extend its comment period an additional 60 days to allow the public more time to comment;
- Tribal consultation and collaborative management with Native Americans is central to any BLM & USFS decision-making, including in the Indian Creek Unit;
- Tribal access to and prioritization of Native American cultural resources must be maintained, such as: the collection of firewood and medicinal plants, access for ceremonial use, and the ongoing identification and protection of all tribal, cultural, burial, and historic sites;
- Key wildlife species and medicinal plants should be studied and conserved for generations to come;
- Agencies must ensure that the ancient structures and rock art are preserved to the greatest degree possible, including protection from looting, sound disturbances, development, and other intrusions;
- The spiritual significance of this region to Tribes must be understood and managed accordingly;
- Significant effort must be made to incorporate traditional knowledge of the five Tribes with ceremonial, cultural, and historic connections to Bears Ears, most especially the five tribes, into the Management Plan, and that this relationship to the land should be understood and protected;
- In addition to government-to-government consultations, include experts designated by the tribes to be included in the planning process. This may include cultural monitors, tribal historians, tribal elders, and others knowledgeable about the cultural, religious, and environmental significance of the Bears Ears National Monument, including the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa’ units.